Won’t Be Three Forever: A Day with a Threenager

When my daughter became a toddler, we were warned all about the “Terrible Twos.”  Each month after her second birthday we held our breath and waited for the sassy, fit throwing behavior to start.  We waited and waited. We thought we had missed this dreaded phase…

…and then she turned 3. 

There was a bonafide “Threenager” in our house and I was not ready for it!  

Won't Be 3 Forever

I asked around about some suggestions about how to handle this behavior. While on the phone with my parents they said, “She won’t be 3 forever, this too shall pass.”

With a renewed sense of patience and understanding, I approached a new day with our 3-year-old.

In the morning while we are getting dressed, she rejected every option I gave her, insisting on wearing her tutu (again).  I pick my battle and think to myself, “She won’t be three forever…”

While we are sitting at the breakfast table, she picks at the food that she loved days before. telling me, “It’s yucky.”  I try to offer other options and think to myself, “She won’t be three forever…”

While getting her hair done, she insists on “Anna braids” even though my braiding skills need work.  I get out all the tools, do my best, and think to myself, “She won’t be three forever…”

While we are getting ready to leave the house, I have to ask her for the twentieth time to get her shoes on.  I take a deep breath and think to myself, “She won’t be three forever…”

While we are out playing, she does her tell-tale potty dance, but still argues about whether she needs to go.  I pull out my old “race you to the bathroom” trick and think to myself, “She won’t be three forever…”

While at lunch, I bring her the chocolate milk she requests only to have her throw a fit when I give it to her. As I put the milk back and give her white milk instead, she throws a fit about wanting chocolate milk. I sigh and think to myself, “She won’t be three forever…”

While getting a snack, she asks for fruit snacks using her best manners and I tell her no. She stomps her foot and responds, “But I said PLEASE!” I explain to her that just because you say please doesn’t mean you’ll get what you ask for. I think to myself,  She won’t be three forever…”

While on the way to gymnastics, she asks me, “Are we going to gymnastics?” every two minutes even though I have answered her question every time she’s asked.  I close my eyes, count to ten (answer her again) and think to myself. “She won’t be three forever…”

While leaving gymnastics, she has a full-on meltdown because we can no longer watch the big girls.  I take a catch the eye of other sympathetic parents, pick her up off the ground and think to myself, “She won’t be three forever…”

While getting ready for bed, she brings me six books even though I’ve reminded her several times the rule is one book before bed. I remind myself bedtime is so close and think to myself, “She won’t be three forever….”

And at the end of the day when she wraps her arms around me and says, “I love you, mama. Will you lay with me?” I lay down with her and think sadly to myself, “She won’t be three forever.”


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